Policing under threat of suicide bombers and IEDs
CNN/David Ariosto
August 17th, 2011
04:02 PM ET

Policing under threat of suicide bombers and IEDs

By CNN's David Ariosto in Kabul, Afghanistan

A pair of Oakley sunglasses wrap around the face of an Afghan police officer riding atop a well-armed patrol - perhaps among the more anecdotal indications of western influence in this central Asian capital.

His mirrored lenses reflect the back-end of a Ford Ranger pick-up truck, painted army green.

The two-truck convoy is packed with more than two dozen of his heavily armed comrades, a scantly-used term that smacks of Soviet influence that once bore down on this region.

The officers circle the city, reinforcing checkpoints that comprise what authorities have dubbed the "Ring of Steel," perhaps a term meant to inspire a sense of confidence within Kabul's inner capital.

But his job description is an unenviable one:  patrol the city, keep it safe and watch for suicide bombers.

"If you see a suicide attacker, you should try to arrest him," said Mohammad Ghalam, a police officer operating a nearby check-point. "But if you can't, you'll have to kill him quickly."

While the outside observer might consider that statement somewhat contradictory, Ghalam's words aptly reflect the duality of working as a civilian officer in a time of war.

Police trucks in the capital are commonly equipped with heavy machine guns. Those who man them - or even just sit behind the big guns - wear body armor, sling automatic weapons and are often clad in multi-pocketed apparel used to stuff spare cartridges.

Suicide attacks, gun-battles and roadside bombs are their daily threats.

"I think our biggest challenge comes from the VIPs who drive up (to police checkpoints)," said Ghalam. "They never want to have their vehicle searched." 

Yet, amid the range of their responsibilities, Afghan cops are also plagued by corruption, mismanagement and murky allegiances, which have long raised questions about their abilities in the absence of NATO.

Like most issues in Afghanistan, it's difficult to offer any singular or overarching review of police in a country that is perhaps more defined by its provincial and tribal ties than it is by the confines of its national boundaries.

But in April, the U.S. government tried.

A report from the office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said that despite heavy investment and training of Afghan police - much of it provided by the United States - it was still impossible to say how many police were on the job or whether the right people were being paid.

Earlier this year, a Pentagon report noted that none of the country's 203 police units were deemed able to operate independently - i.e., without NATO assistance.

Still, America aims to put 134,000 Afghan police officers on the street by this fall, according to the U.S. Defense Department.

That's no easy task, given that combat and weapons training must also share space with another and slightly unusual lesson: Reading classes.

The literacy rate for incoming recruits - Afghan soldiers and police officers - is roughly 14%, said Jack Kem, deputy to the NATO Training Mission.

That means "86% of our recruits are unable to read and write at the third-grade level," he said in May, according to a DOD statement. "This has been an enormous challenge."

And yet the challenges are not exclusively Afghan-based.

An U.S. audit report released Monday blamed poor coordination and a lack of oversight on the U.S. government during the process of switching control of Afghan police training between the departments of State and Defense.

It also blamed a U.S. contractor for failing to have "428 of the 728 required personnel in place within the 120-day transition period."

That shortage has "placed the overall mission at risk," it said.

Meanwhile, 10,000 U.S. soldiers are scheduled to depart Afghanistan by year's end, with the United States marking a decade of war in October.

The full draw-down and transfer of security is set for the end of 2014.


Filed under: Security Brief
soundoff (172 Responses)
  1. Tomiko

    its crazy how good your website is !! keep it up ! cbd gummies

    https://cbd-edibless.com

    July 16, 2021 at 4:39 am | Reply
  2. curso mestres do bitcoin 3.0 funciona

    Great blog here! great article 585231763

    https://cursomestresdobitcoin30.com.br

    June 24, 2021 at 7:04 am | Reply
  3. Phoebe

    can i process hemp into cbd oil in texas

    http://wlfbsa.org/home.php?mod=space&uid=3300360

    June 23, 2021 at 11:49 am | Reply
  4. Northwich Vapour

    Does anybody know whether Electric Vapors ecig shop based in 3165 Lee Hwy sells eliquid made by Kind Juice E-Nectar? I have emailed them at kevin@vapeshack.ca

    https://opensourcebridge.science/wiki/Information_To_Nfts

    June 21, 2021 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  5. Hairstyles

    Thanks for your information on this blog. One particular thing I want to say is the fact purchasing gadgets items over the Internet is not something new. The truth is, in the past decades alone, the market for online electronic devices has grown noticeably. Today, you could find practically just about any electronic device and other gadgets on the Internet, including cameras and also camcorders to computer spare parts and video games consoles.

    https://www.hairstylesvip.com

    June 18, 2021 at 5:07 pm | Reply
  6. how long does cbd take to relieve anxiety

    Good Morning everybody , can anyone advise where I can purchase Green Roads CBD Tincture Broad Spectrum Mint Breeze Mighty 1500mg?

    https://humanlove.stream/wiki/Finest_Cbd_Oil_For_Spinal_Stenosis

    June 18, 2021 at 8:19 am | Reply
  7. Kayswell

    Heya! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any problems with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing many months of hard work due to no data backup. Do you have any methods to protect against hackers?

    https://www.kayswell.com

    June 16, 2021 at 11:48 am | Reply
  8. Juliana

    where to buy cbd oil manayunk

    http://pandora.nla.gov.au/external.html?link=https://t.co/BOaDXYSRmr

    June 15, 2021 at 11:44 am | Reply
  9. readerallbooks.godaddysites.com

    History Sociology Or Economics Book Binding Services Near Me

    Feel free to visit my page :: pdf books (readerallbooks.godaddysites.com)

    June 14, 2021 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  10. Supreme Vapor of Greenville NC

    I look after a vape store directory site and we have had a posting from a vape shop in the USA that likewise markets CBD products. A Month afterwards, PayPal has contacted use to claim that our account has been restricted and have asked us to remove PayPal as a payment method from our vape store submission site. We do not sell CBD items like CBD oil. We only offer advertising and marketing professional services to CBD companies. I have checked out Holland & Barrett– the UK's Leading Wellness Merchant and if you take a close peek, you will witness that they promote a pretty considerable series of CBD products, primarily CBD oil and they also happen to accept PayPal as a settlement solution. It seems that PayPal is applying double standards to many different firms. Due to this restriction, I can no longer take PayPal on my CBD-related web site. This has constricted my payment options and now, I am heavily contingent on Cryptocurrency payments and direct bank transfers. I have talked with a solicitor from a Magic Circle law firm in London and they stated that what PayPal is doing is totally unlawful and inequitable as it should be applying an uniform standard to all firms. I am yet to check with an additional legal representative from a US law practice in The city of london to see what PayPal's legal position is in the USA. In the meantime, I would be extremely appreciative if anybody here at targetdomain could offer me with different payment processors/merchants that work with CBD firms.

    https://www.anunciosbarrancabermeja.com/author/wherescbd5300/

    June 11, 2021 at 5:47 am | Reply
  11. Ecig Vapor Juice Store

    Has anyone been to E-Vapor 8 Inn? 😉

    https://spamdb.science/wiki/How_To_Choose_The_Most_Effective_Cbd_Cartridges

    June 8, 2021 at 5:00 am | Reply
  12. Vapor Passion

    Has anyone been to King Kong Vape? 🙂

    http://www.dhakirti.com/index.php?qa=user&qa_1=cbdcenterofri5777

    June 6, 2021 at 6:37 pm | Reply
  13. Fashion Styles

    I have been exploring for a little for any high-quality articles or weblog posts on this sort of area . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this web site. Studying this info So i am happy to exhibit that I have a very just right uncanny feeling I came upon just what I needed. I most no doubt will make certain to do not omit this web site and provides it a glance on a relentless basis.

    https://www.ifashionstyles.com

    June 4, 2021 at 2:41 pm | Reply
  14. https://thuocladientu123.com

    Best view i have ever seen !

    https://images.google.si/url?q=https://thuocladientu123.com

    June 3, 2021 at 6:24 am | Reply
  15. https://www.yamatocosmos.com

    Best view i have ever seen !

    https://maps.google.co.ve/url?q=https://www.yamatocosmos.com

    June 3, 2021 at 5:08 am | Reply
  16. fgts processo correção

    I truly appreciate this blog article. Really Great. 46544996

    https://www.novacorrecaodofgts.com.br

    May 31, 2021 at 9:44 pm | Reply
  17. Nova Correção do Fgts

    I truly appreciate this blog article. Really Great. 88163845

    https://novacorrecaodofgts.com.br/

    May 31, 2021 at 8:43 pm | Reply
  18. Oscar Zuehlke

    Can I copyright 20 pages of old newspaper articles ?

    https://www.facebook.com/KateKowalskyWebMarketing

    May 30, 2021 at 7:45 am | Reply
  19. curso de vigilante

    Congratulations on the content. Interesting. 2553802 817733

    https://www.METAMUSICA.COM.BR/

    May 28, 2021 at 5:25 pm | Reply
  20. curso de oratória

    Excellent article. Congratulations on the information. 158260377 4344356

    https://www.metamusica.com.br

    May 28, 2021 at 2:11 am | Reply
1 2

Leave a Reply to Vapor Passion


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.